Saturday, October 8, 2016

Oliver Wyman's Brexit Analysis is Straight Out of the Project Fear Playbook

While the report contains some useful information, it only considers one side of the debate. Osbourne's Treasury would be proud of it.

Brexit presents risks but there are also opportunities. We may disagree which outweigh the other, but the referendum is over and the country voted to leave. We must now put our best minds together and work to realise these opportunities as well as mitigate those risks.

Rather than rehashing the debate, we would rather support organisations such as the Financial Services Negotiation Forum. The FSN Forum is bringing Leavers and Remainers together with the goal of producing evidence-based research that can provide our negotiators with the information necessary to maximise their effectiveness at the negotiating table.

Oliver Wyman's recent report for TheCityUK on Brexit is a relic of the referendum debate. They have made a reasonable job of analysing the current contribution of Financial Services to the country's coffers (albeit with disagreement over numbers - their estimate 1.05m employees conflicts starkly with TheCityUK's own estimate of 2.2m). They have also managed to acknowledge opportunities for the Financial Services industry post-Brexit arising from the "new networks of trade and investment agreements that the UK will negotiate with its partners", although these were only given a couple of small paragraphs.

Disappointingly, they made no effort to quantify these opportunities or include them in their scenarios.